Grassroots Coaching

Level 2 in Kent Day 2

Level 2 Kent – Day 2

After yesterday, where Alan and I showed the coaches how a technique progressed into a skill, today it was the turn of the coaches to coach their given topics and be assessed by Alan and myself. The coaches generally did well; given this was their first experience at this level. The biggest problem they experienced was planning their sessions, so that they could effectively coach their given topics. Alan and I used coaches’ chalkboard to demonstrate to the coaches how to plan a session. Below is an example of a print out, which can be used by the coaches to plan coaching sessions.

We encourage coaches to observe and coach from good practice. So when a player does something really well, sometimes use that situation to give the players a rest and highlight the good practice. This gives a confidence boost to the player, provides an aspiration for the other players and provides and opportunity to reinforce the key technical aspects, in a verbal and visual manner.

One of the guys was coaching the Technique of running with the ball. He saw that one of the players, Julie received and ran with the ball really well. So he stopped the session, said that was fantastic.  “Julie lets recreate the situation so that everyone can understand what you did”. He then guided Julie through what she did, asking first “when the ball came into you, where did you control it, how and why?” Julie was really pleased to be singled out and responded with enthusiasm and with all the technical factors of running with the ball, in a logical, progressive order, “as the ball came in, I was on my toes, ready to receive it. I recognised there was lots of space to my right, so I controlled the ball big into the space, quickly ran after the ball, got my head up, used the laces of my leading foot to run with the ball and made sure I passed accurately at the end of the run to another player” Fantastic Julie, says the coach. Would you like to now show everyone what you did” Julie, pranced on the spot, overly alert to receive the ball, shouted really loudly to the passer, NOW, got in line with the ball and as she went to control the ball into the space, trod on the ball and went arse over tit. Everyone, except of course poor Julie was in fits of laughter.

One session that impressed me was when one of the coaches coached close range finishing. It involved 10 players and was vibrant, fast moving and gave the players involved lots of opportunities to finish from close range.

Link from you tube for this session:


Our feedback to the coach for this session was that it was a great session, but when it evolved into the skill session, it was very important that the attitude and realism of the session had to be encouraged. The attackers, in a realistic situation game like situation, would have to have a really positive attitude and look to create and take shooting opportunities quickly. What happened, was the players involved in the session, tended to over elaborate in their build up and they needed to be coached to improve their attitude to creating and taking finishing opportunities quicker.

Level 2 Kent – Day 3

Today we showed the coaches a series of small sided games. The basic organisation is to play 4 v 4 outfield players, with goalkeepers.

To really help the coaches understand how to coach attacking topics within a small sided, the coaches need to plan the size of the pitch related to the topic they are coaching.

For example, for a topic like Short Range Passing, it would help to coach the topic if the pitch was smaller than normal. This would also depend on the age and ability of the players being coached, but a pitch size of say 35 x 25 yards, would require the players to pass the ball consistently over a short range. The second thing is to try and manage both teams to play some kind of formation, say 2 – 1 – 1 and for the players to try and be disciplined to stay in that formation and play in their positions. Of course defenders can go forward, as can midfield players, but if they interchange positions, for two of the players to recognise the need to play as defenders and at least one of the them to play up front.

The third thing is with attacking topics, for the team in possession to create space as a team when they gain possession of the ball. By this I mean, for wide players to pull wide and for the forward to stretch the opposition by making the pitch long and by pulling as far forward as possible.

This creates space as a team and makes the pitch as big as possible. From this basic attacking principle, it makes it much easier for the team to attack and for the coach to coach the attacking topic, in this example, short range passing.

In summary:

  • Size of pitch related to the topic
  • Teams to play and try to be responsible for playing in a formation, say 2 – 1 – 1 or  2- 2
  • When in possession of the ball, create space as a team and to make the pitch as big as possible.
  • Coach not only short passing, but support play and creating space as individuals and as a team
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Assessment Level 2 Coach Education FA Level 2